Commission Meeting Minutes – Thursday, March 19, 2020

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Meeting Minutes 3-19-20 with Attachments

To read the minutes, please open or download the pdf from the link above, or you may see more below.

Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission

1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 2:00 PM 

COMMISSION MINUTES

PRESENT:                             

G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Bob Duncan, Vice-Chairman

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Charles Cook, Commissioner

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner              

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director

Charlie Dorminy, Legal Counsel HBS

 John Donaghy, Director of Finance

LaDonnah Roberts, Senior Financial Analyst

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator 

ABSENT:                               

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner 

MEDIA PRESENT:               

No Media Present

Chairman Turnipseed called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM.

Chairman Turnipseed provided the invocation and Commissioner Elliott led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Chairman Turnipseed opened the public comment period.

There being no citizens for public comment, Chairman Turnipseed closed the public comment period. 

Chairman Turnipseed noted that Commissioner Stephens was not able to join the meeting and requested a motion to excuse him.

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to excuse Commissioner Stephens from the Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent from the meeting.)

COMMITTEE UPDATES

Facilities Committee Meeting Update – Chairman Turnipseed

Chairman Turnipseed reported that the Facilities Committee had met on the previous day and approved the Water Meter RFP Award to be forwarded to the full Commission at this meeting.  Other items discussed included the Pump Station 4021 Rehab. Project which came in over budget and will be reviewed by staff for possible revisions to the scope for the project to come closer to budget.  The bids were just received for the SPLOST Phase 3 Pump Station Project, and the 3 bids received came in over budget as well.  Staff is reviewing the qualifications of those bidders, will look at possible modifications to the scope, and consider rebidding the project.  The WPCF plants had good reports for the month of February, all operating well within permit levels.  The Project Report was also presented indicating good progress on projects.

Finance Committee Meeting Update – Commissioner Duncan

Commissioner Duncan reported that the Finance Committee had also met on the previous day and also discussed and recommended for the Water Meter RFP to be forwarded to full Commission for their approval.  The Committee also approved the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget and recommended for it to be forwarded to the full Commission at this meeting.  For discussion the Financial Statement for month ending February 2020 was reviewed and noted as on track and within the “glide path” for budget versus expenses and revenues.  The Utility is in good condition at this time.

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the March 5, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to approve the minutes from the March 5, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent from the meeting.) 

  1. Minutes from the March 5, 2020 Executive Session

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from the March 5, 2020 Executive Session.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent from the meeting.) 

  1. Water Meter RFP Award – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that staff had gone through a very detailed and thorough process in determining the direction to go in with the water metering for both residential and commercial customers.  Multiple firms were interviewed regarding their AMI features they offer such as a radio feed providing the ability to read usages from a computer in the office which reduces the need for meter readers to drive by to manually get the water usage reads.  For the residential customers, mechanical meters were requested rather than digital so the customer can see the dial spinning and be assured where their usage read is coming from.  Metal threads were also requested along with AMR fallback capability which is the current drive by method of reading and could be used in case the network was down.  The firm selected will also provide and maintain the AMI network system for JWSC.  NAS (Network as a Service) and SAS (Software as a Service) were requested by JWSC.  Mr. Burroughs explained that Software as a Service means the provider is hosting the data.  He added that per the recommendation from Commissioner Cook the previous day, JWSC will be obtaining a back-up of that data to have in case something were to happen with the existing contract proposal.  Out of the six firms that were interviewed Delta Municipal Supply Company who represents Neptune Meters was the high scorer.  Neptune is one of the largest meter manufacturers in the United States.  Delta Municipal provided a solid plan for the project management, and they also were the most cost effective proposal submitted.  Delta will be putting the entire network up in year one following a pilot, and eventually all the meters will be replaced in billing route groups.  Mr. Burroughs advised that one of the benefits with this system is that JWSC can alert customers of probable leaks in their system as soon as it is found, rather than waiting to get their bill and discover they had a leak.  This will allow customers to get the issues corrected quicker so there is not as much water loss.  After discussion pertaining to the Commissioners’ questions regarding meter replacement, current manual meter reading, and contract funding and negotiation a motion was made.

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission authorize the Executive Director to move forward in negotiations with Delta Municipal Supply Company for AMI and MDMS products and services for a five-year program integration to serve the meter reading needs of the JWSC.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent from the meeting.)

4          Fiscal Year 2021 Budget

Mr. Burroughs presented the Proposed Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2021 to the Commission.  It had been provided on the previous day to the Finance Committee and members of the Facilities Committee who remained for the Finance Meeting.  Mr. Burroughs stated that there would not be an increase in rates for FY 2021 Budget, which would be JWSC’s second year in a row with no rate increases.  Within his presentation Mr. Burroughs provided the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget goals and highlights; gave an overview of where the FY 2021 projected revenues will come from; discussed the FY 2021 expenses by expense type as well as the expenses by division; and also thoroughly detailed where the expected increases and decreases in expenses will be.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission approve the submission of the Proposed Fiscal Year 2021 JWSC Budget to the City of Brunswick and Glynn County for their review and comment and approval of the Fiscal Year 2021 JWSC Budget in the amount of $33,407,000 subject to revision upon receipt of the comments from the City of Brunswick and/or Glynn County.

Commissioner Harvey asked if there were any significant increases in any of the divisions, and Mr. Burroughs provided an explanation of budgets that were shifted or reallocated between divisions as well as changes such as in the landscaping services, warehouse software and barcoding system, also including banking and investment fees, and then noted that with the expected increase in revenues it would result in a net positive for JWSC.  Commissioner Harvey inquired about providing raises to the JWSC employees, and Mr. Burroughs responded with an explanation of the 1.66% COLA and any remaining step raises that might result from employees’ annual evaluations.  After a few more questions and comments from the Commissioners a vote was taken.

Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent from the meeting.)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Chairman Turnipseed asked for an update on what JWSC is doing regarding the Coronavirus.  Mr. Burroughs provided the following notations:

  • Staff is limiting the in person meetings, and are using the phones and technologies such as web-ex
  • Customer Service and staff members who are touching money are wearing gloves
  • A local provider came in and performed a hydrostatic disinfection of the building
  • Staff has stopped all congregating in the breakroom at lunches and are spacing lunches out
  • The “community” coffee services have been stopped due to touching the coffee pots, etc.
  • Cut-offs and late fees for customers have been suspended at this time to take into consideration and assist any customers who may not be working
  • Payment plans will likely be worked out for customer accounts that might incur large balances
  • Non-essential travelling has been cancelled
  • Postings have been placed on the JWSC website and social media accounts regarding the information on the cut-off procedures, not flushing items not intended to be flushed, and also including advice that the water is safe to drink and not affected by the Coronavirus
  • Notations have been placed on e-mails regarding the limiting of in-person meetings with vendors, etc.

In response to a request from Commissioner Neal, Mr. Burroughs will contact the newspapers and radio to provide advice to the public that the water is safe to drink and services will continue.

Mr. Burroughs also commented to anyone listening on the live streaming to remember that the toilet is not a trashcan for people flushing non-flushable products, and also provided that flushable wipes are not flushable and regardless what the package says, they do not breakdown in the sewer system and will clog up the lines.

Mr. Burroughs further commented for everyone to stay safe and follow the guidelines that have been provided, and stated that JWSC will continue to provide services for the duration of this virus.  We know we are critical to public health and we will be here.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Chairman Turnipseed made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the April and May

Commission Meetings will be on the 3rd Thursday only for each of those two months.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent from the meeting.) 

Commissioner Harvey requested to announce that the City of Brunswick did select a new City Manager the previous night.  Regina McDuffie from Macon County, Georgia has an extensive knowledge of city management and is expected to report in around May 4, 2020 as the new City Manager of Brunswick.  

Commissioner Elliott recommended that the Executive Session be held in the Commission Room where they were already seated spaced apart from each other observing social distancing, rather than entering the smaller enclosed room.  Those in the Commission Room who were not a part of the Executive Session were excused during that portion of the meeting.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to adjourn into Executive Session to discuss Property.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent from the meeting.)

Return to Regular Session.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to return to Regular Session.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent from the meeting.) 

APPROVAL cont.

  1. 2307 Gloucester Street Property – PSA Amendment

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve Amendment Number One to the Purchase and Sale Agreement entered into with Port City Partners, LLC with a Binding Agreement Date of February 12, 2020, and grant authority to the Chairman to sign the Amendment.  Motion carried 6-0-1. (Commissioner Stephens was absent from the meeting.)

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to adjourn the meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent from the meeting.)

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Turnipseed adjourned the meeting at 3:00 p.m.